Russia's Pavel Kulizhnikov enjoyed a superb final day of the International Skating Union (ISU) Speed Skating World Cup in Stavanger by winning both men’s races.
Having won the 1,000 metres yesterday, Kulizhnikov had closed to within 20 points of The Netherlands’ Kjeld Nuis in the overall World Cup standings and knew a second victory could see him take over as the leader.
The reigning 500m sprint world champion, who served a two-year doping ban between 2012 and 2014, achieved a time of 1min 8.10sec to claim a narrow success as Nuis was just 0.03 off the pace.
Another Dutchman, Thomas Krol, completed the podium positions by finishing in a time of 1:08.52.
Kulizhnikov and Nuis now share the 1,000m World Cup lead ahead of the final event in Heerenveen from March 11 to 13.
The Russian boasts a commanding advantage over his rivals in the men’s 500m standings after securing another victory over the distance by clocking a time of 34.52.
His team-mate Ruslan Murashov and Canada’s Gilmore Junio completed the medal positions by finishing in 34.78 and 34.86 respectively.
Following his performance, Kulizhnikov moved to an overall tally of 705 points, while Alex Boisvert-Lacroix of Canada lies in second position on 463.
In the women’s 1,000m, America’s Brittany Bowe claimed gold by clocking 1:14.35, with The Netherlands’ Marrit Leenstra finishing as the runner-up in 1:15.22.
Austria’s Vanessa Bittner sealed bronze after ending 1.17 off the pace of the winner, while Bowe's compatriot Heather Richardson-Bergsma was left languishing in fifth position in a time of 1:15.74.
The result saw her fall 156 points behind Bowe in the World Cup standings, with her team-mate now lying on 560 points after winning four races so far this season.
Newly crowned women’s European all-round champion Martina Sábliková completed the women’s 3,000m in 4:00.08 to earn a comfortable victory.
The Czech’s arch-rival Ireen Wüst ended 4.07 seconds off the pace to take silver, while her fellow Dutchwoman Irene Schouten was the bronze medallist in 4:05.51.
Sábliková will head to the final World Cup of the season with an unassailable 150 point advantage over second place Natalya Voronina of Russia as she now has 400 points.